Rastislav Šenkirik

* 1958  

  • “When we arrived to September registration Lafranconi, we had to attend a summer activity before, we were building a barn in Ocova etc...When we arrived to LaFranconi, where the faculty was located, and there was also a boarding house, our peers were already in their slippers and it turned out that they didn't have to attend any activity, but were setting up a school committee of SZM all summer. They were graduates from these worker's intensive courses, who made their final exams in a year and picked a university, which they wanted to attend. Therefore we did not even know them, because they did not have to pass the entrance exams. That was the first thing that made us so horribly angry,that oh, the small nepotists are here. I can say, that these made up the majority of deans and vice-deans on Slovak universities even after 1989. The boys knew how to play."

  • “I have a rather curious experience. I started painting and secretly glued posters like "Russians go home" around the village. My mom spotted me while doing it, I thought she was going to punish me, but she said, "You didn't draw it well, look at your rough letters. " So she helped me it and we put up the posters during night. At that time, there was a number of "signing events" of the so-called free radios, that changed positions and escaped the occupiers for some time. Petitions were being sent in both Bratislava and Bystrica. Our village had about a thousand inhabitants. So I brought a little children's table to the station, because people were getting on the buses and trains to work there. High-speed trains stood on Krivan, due to some technical reasons, they crossed. The dispatcher also called on the people in the high-speed train to sign the petition, he said he would not let the train pass, until they sign it. Of course, he had to follow the timetable, but many people signed it and some even cried that they didn't manage it. So it happened that our village had several times more signatures, rejecting the Russian occupation, than it's inhabitants. Of course, there was a local good guy, I later found out he was a former member of garda, who had some contact and a on his demand, a transported came to station, two gaziks full of soldiers and the started to shoot into the air. I managed to run through the shortcuts, gardens and over fences into safety. My children's table was crashed into pieces. The petitions were rescued."

  • “Maybe we should mention a thing that is overlooked, and that is not only the students' participation in November 89, but students' participation in the fundamental changes after 89. By this I mean the student strike and the strike of artists in 1996 and 1997 in response to the unfathomable practices of the Minister of Culture Hudec and so on. At that time, an open forum Save the Culture was created, which resulted in a memorable occupation strike of the Ministry of Culture, where several very funny and curious situations occurred, apart from the fact, that Minister Hudec ran away with a coat on his head. The cops tried to drag us out of the ministry. I remember being terribly afraid. I was scared, I'm afraid of physical violence. I'm no Rambo.We were sitting on the stairs, holding each other under our arms, thus creating a chain. And I just asked, whether those sitting on either side were heavy enough, because there was about a 50 kg cop there, but I calmed down, that he won't be able to drag three of us. There have been two events that should have been recorded: The magic of the unwanted. As Števa Kožka was dragged up the stairs, that shot, which later appeared on television, the cops dragged him by the arms and legs, came from a camera previously confiscated from a Markiza, which was set to automatic regime.The cameraman came to the policeman with a plea to give him the camera. The policemen agreed, but the cameraman had to hand over the tape. This type of camera, however, had a storage for clean tapes on the back, so the cameraman gave him the empty one, and the footage staid in the cartridge. They immediately run to VSVU to copy the tape, there were some deputies, with deputy immunity in the footage, which was sent to Czechia, Austria etc. It is also related to the second event- next to the concrete pot in front of The Ministry of Culture stood Pavol Rusko in a tracksuit, he was the director-in-chief of television Markiza. Meciar was the witness at his wedding, and who as an eager communist regretted he missed November 1989. He came to the conclusion, this is the new 1989, and immediately stopped the broadcast of Anka Ghanamova, he published the footage from the strike and the pro-Meciar Rusko immediately became a liberty-loving, democratic citizen."

  • Full recordings
  • 1

    Bratislava, 20.05.2019

    (audio)
    duration: 59:19
    media recorded in project Stories of 20th Century
Full recordings are available only for logged users.

Everybody wanted the change, including the Communists, who quickly changed their team

Rastislav Šenkirik was born on January 10, 1958 in Zvolen. He graduated from the Faculty of Education - Physical Education and Biology. Later he studied cultural studies and history of art. Already before 1989, he was employed in the Restoration Studios, where he was caught by the gentle revolution in which he actively participated. He is a co-author of legislation in the field of restoration of cultural monuments in Slovakia and the author of a numerous of contributions in anthologies and monographs devoted to technical monuments and the history of Bratislava. Currently, he is the head of the culture department of the Bratislava self-governing region.